Trout fishing is improving everywhere -- at least in any stream or river that isn't too high or too muddy. As a rule, streams that come out of lakes aren't susceptible to big fluctuations like the streams without lakes upstream. That's why the Parks Highway streams, like Willow and Montana, have stream flow charts that look like the stock market for the last two weeks.
But as of Wednesday afternoon, water levels in those and other highway streams are falling. That means they should fish well as long as that continues. Rainbows like to hold in fast, shallow riffles, with highly oxygenated water, waiting for salmon eggs to wash down to them. That's why beads are working. Contrary to what many fishermen seem to assume, it isn't always necessary to heap on split shot or lead wraps to fish beads successfully. A tiny weight or no weight at all can actually work better.
Try to be a little stealthy and fish the slow, shallow water next to shore before you start wading. Remember that those fish may see dozens, if not hundreds, of beads every day. Don't be afraid to change colors or sizes; try to show them something different.
On the Upper Kenai River, according to the guys at Mountain View Sports Center, bead fishing for dollies and rainbows is heating up. Water levels and clarity are good. We were there Sunday and thought the water clarity was better than usual for this time of year. Fish were being caught both from boats on the drift and from walking and wading. There are a few dead kings and reds in the river already, so it won't hurt to try big pink, ginger, white and off-white flesh patterns. We also saw quite a few silvers in the Upper Kenai last weekend.
The Mountain View guys also report that:
• Anglers are picking up silvers in the Middle and Lower Kenai;
• Pike fishing in the Nancy Lake system is improving with the lower water temperatures. South Rolly, Nancy and Red Shirt lakes usually produce the best. Try trolling herring or casting weedless lures into the shallows;
• Grayling fishing in the Interior is good. Try fishing anywhere off the Denali Highway, or the Delta-Clearwater region. These fish are feeding on subsurface insects, so plan your flies and spinners accordingly. (Side note: Grouse and ptarmigan season is open, and where the grayling fishing is good, we often put up birds, so it never hurts to have the dog and a 20-gauge handy.)
• Silvers, pinks and chums are all being caught along the Cook Inlet feeder creeks. Try Bird, Ingram, Resurrection and Ship for the best results. Jim Creek has been getting some fresh silvers too. Cured roe under a bobber is the best for silvers.
Finally, now that we're really into trout season, let's all try to demonstrate a little fishing etiquette. There is no need for combat fishing manners. Don't start fishing just below someone who is obviously moving downstream. Don't crowd; if you want to fish the same spot where someone already is, ask them if they mind. Don't beach your boat right where someone is casting. In short, show some class.
The Daily News fishing report is published each Thursday. For the latest and most comprehensive information every day, check the links on adn.com/outdoors/sportfishing. In addition to reports from Department of Fish and Game biologists across the state, you will find lots of photos in the Nice Catch galleries, links to current weather, river and stream flows, tide charts, fish counts, salmon run timing, fishing derbies across the state and how-to videos. You can also buy a fishing license online, check the regulations, read a blog with the latest fishery closures and emergency orders, and sign up for our fishing newsletter email.